A spread from Picnic in Durham, North Carolina | Wyatt’s Barbecue/Facebook

From barbecue to Filipinx fare

It’s been a rough past year with the pandemic shutting down many eateries across North and South Carolina, but chefs, restaurateurs, and investors are still busy with more new restaurants and bars coming this way. As always, Eater is obsessively tracking the progression of all the premiers — from menu releases to newly installed signage, come here for the latest updates. This list encapsulates the places garnering excitement this year.



Location: 701 Haywood Road
Key Players: Chef Silver Cousler
Projected Opening: Late January 2021 or early February 2021
When COVID hit, chef Silver Cousler didn’t have the opportunity to travel to the Cayman Islands for a cooking residency, so instead they decided to open Asheville’s first Filipinx restaurant. Cousler’s mother is from Manila and their father is from North Carolina. They say on the Neng Jr’s website, “The intersection of Filipino and Southern food reveals a host of similarities, like the whole pig traditions of Filipinx Lechon and Eastern NC barbecue.” Cousler imagines a menu full of lumpia, pancit, sinigang, and more. Cousler comes from kitchens at Mission Chinese, Gan Shan West, Buxton Hall, and the Admiral.


167 Raw167 Raw [Official]
167 Raw


Location: 289 East Bay Street, downtown
Key Players: The group behind 167 Raw
Projected Opening: Spring 2021
Seafood spot 167 Raw relocated to Lower King last year, but now the group the will turn its original location into an intimate sushi bar, seating 12 to 15 customers.

Site of ScarecrowErin Perkins/Eater Carolinas
Site of upcoming Bodega and Share House


Location: 23 Ann Street, downtown
Key Players: Uptown Social partners Keith Benjamin, Kara Graves, Bryn Kelly, Brian Dodd and Kat Moore; chef Alec Gropman
Projected Opening: Spring/Summer 2021
A restaurant group from New York brought Uptown Social to Charleston, and now the partners behind Uptown Social want to bring two more restaurants to Ann Street. Bodega will build off of the breakfast/brunch concept already happening at Uptown Social, with New York-style morning sandwiches and coffee. Charcuterie and cocktails will be on the menu in the evening.

Share House will be a Hamptons-meets-Jersey-Shore seafood house with a party on the side. Co-owner Keith Benjamin told Charleston City Paper to expect a “coastal cantina.”

woman in an apronMike Ledford
Vivian Howard


Location: 68 Wentworth Street, downtown
Key Players: Celebrity chef Vivian Howard
Projected Opening: Soonish
Lenoir draws from Howard’s hometown of Lenoir County, North Carolina. It will feature a refined menu drawing inspiration from the farmers of North Carolina.

Plate at the Longboard


Location: 2213-B Middle Street, Sullivan’s Island
Key Players: Restaurateurs Clint Gaskins and Tyler Beckstead
Projected Opening: Early 2021
U.S. Virgin Islands restaurant the Longboard will open a second location in the Lowcountry. The food pulls inspiration from the islands with an emphasis on seafood, tropical produce, and coastal flavors. A glance at the St. John’s menu shows multiple selections of ceviches and poke bowls, grilled fish tacos, lobster tacos, island wings, and more.

 Pink Bellies/Facebook
Interiors at Pink Bellies


Location: 595 King Street, downtown
Key Players: Chef/Owner Thai Phi
Projected Opening: Soon
Former Vietnamese food truck and pop-up Pink Bellies will soon have a new home on King Street. From banh mi to noodle bowls to pho, fans of chef Thai Phi’s work are eagerly awaiting the opening.

Also, keep an eye on:
167 Raw’s Unnamed Mediterranean Restaurant (Downtown)
Farmer & Exchange (Downtown)
Garco Mill (Park Circle)
Lady Xian (Unknown)
Minero (Johns Island



Location: 10707 Park Road, Suite R
Key Players: Chefs/Co-Owners Jamie Barnes and Greg Williams
Projected Opening: Early 2021
Popular Charlotte food truck What the Fries will become a brick and mortar restaurant this year. Know for gourmet french fries, tater tots, and irresistible burgers, fans will no longer need to chase don the mobile kitchen to feed their comfort food cravings.


 Wyatt’s Barbecue/Facebook
Takeout from Picnic


Location: 2431 Crabtree Boulevard
Key Players: Chef/Owner Wyatt Dickson
Projected Opening: Spring 2021
After the success of barbecue spot Picnic in Durham, North Carolina, pitmaster Wyatt Dickson brings oak-smoked, locally raised, whole heritage breed hog to Raleigh, North Caroina, with the opening of Wyatt’s Barbecue. The restaurant is not finished for indoor dining, but he has set up an extensive takeaway menu for those who can’t wait any longer. Expect all the fixin’s you would expect to find at any good pig pickin’, like hush puppies, coleslaw, and mac and cheese.

Also, keep an eye on:
The Raleigh Cheesy


 Mozzarella Fellas/Facebook
New menu items at upcoming Dom’s


Location: 134 North Spruce Street
Key Players: Mozzarella Fellas chef/owner Brian Ricciardi
Projected Opening: Mid-January
Downtown Winston-Salem gets its first vegan restaurant with the opening of Dom’s later this month. Owner Ricciardi found success with vegan Italian restaurant Mozzarella Fellas, but now he will stretch his culinary prowess at Dom’s by adding more items like vegan nachos, tacos, small plates, and more. There will be no pizza, like at Mozzerella Fellas though, that oven is too big to transfer.

Also, keep an eye on:
Bossy Beulah’s Chicken Shack

If we missed a big opening, please drop a note to carolinas@eater.com

Additional research from Eater Carolinas contributors Matthew Lardie, Nikki-Miller Ka, Gina Smith, and Jenn Rice.